There are several programming languages on the market and the popularity of these varies every year.  

If you are thinking about learning your first programming language or want to add to your portfolio, we have put together a list of  the top 10 best programming languages to learn in 2020, in no particular order. 

1. JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most widely used and top-ranked programming languages in the world. It is popular among developers who need to work on both server-side and client-side programming. It is used to design interactive frontend applications and has evolved over the years into a multi-paradigm, high level and dynamic programming language. Companies such as Netflix, Uber and PayPal all use JavaScript.

Github repositories contributions has ranked JavaScript as the number one programming language for five years in a row. It was also ranked as the number one most popular programming language in the StackOverflow Developer Survey of 2019.


2. Typescript

As the popularity of JavaScript grows and its use by large companies, the process of simplifying the writing of code and maintenance becomes more difficult. As a result, Microsoft developed Typescript, the object-orientated language which extends the capabilities of JavaScript.

Typescript is a relatively new programming language, used mainly in South America and Africa because of the younger community of developers in these regions.

According to StackOverflow, TypeScript is gaining momentum and is expected to continue to increase in popularity, possibly even overtaking JavaScript! Therefore, it is one of the most sought after programming languages in 2020.  


3. Python

Python is one of the most popular server-side programming languages that is used to write scripts and plug-ins. It is a universal language with easy to read code and due to the features of syntax, programmers need to perform fewer actions to create a plugin than in Java or C++.

Companies such as Instagram, Surveymonkey, YouTube and Pinterest are all built in Python. It is a great starting point for beginners and several startups are using Python as their primary backend stack.  

In the last few years, Python has seen enormous growth in demand with no sign of slowing down. GitHub repositories contributions highlighted that Python saw a 50% growth last year and surpassed Java as the 2nd most popular programming language.

The StackOverflow survey has shown that Python Developers earn a high salary with relatively low experience compared to other mainstream programming languages.


4. Java

Java is one of the oldest languages but is still a popular choice for programmers. It is widely used by large enterprises for developing server-side applications and is the official language for building Android apps. This object orientated programming language does not require a specific hardware structure, it is easy to manage and has a good level of security.

Java is behind in the pace of technology development and has lost its popularity to more modern, developer-friendly languages such as Python. However, thanks to the high-quality code compilation and high stability, it still occupies high positions and is still one of the most desirable languages among programmers.

After only five years after being released, Java became the 3rd most popular programming language and remained in the top 3 lists for the next two decades! According to GitHub repository contribution, Java held the number one spot from 2014-2018 and only slipped to 3rd position in the last year. Similarly, the StackOverflow Developer Survey ranked Java high on their list and it was only superseded by JavaScript and Python.


5. C#

C# is a multi-paradigm programming language that is widely used, not only on the Windows platform but also on the iOS/Android and Linux platform. It is a multifunctional language that allows developers to create anything from server apps to mobile games. C# is commonly used with Microsoft’s .NET framework to develop desktop Windows apps.

StackOverflow Developer survey has placed C# as the 4th most popular language and GitHub repositories contribution ranked it as the 5th most popular programming language.


6. Ruby

Ruby is an object orientated scripting language that was first developed in 1995. It has evolved into a multiple paradigm general-purpose programming language and has been used by some of the largest software projects such as Twitter, GitHub and Airbnb.

In the USA, the earning potential of Ruby Developers is significant and has been ranked 1st by Indeed. The StackOverflow Developer Survey 2019 has also shown that Ruby Developers can earn a high salary with relatively low experience, so it is definitely a programming language that new developers should consider learning.


7. R

R programming language is one of the most commonly used programming languages for Data Analysis and Machine Learning. R provides an excellent framework and built-in libraries to develop Machine Learning algorithms. It is also used for general statistical computing as well as graphics. R language is used to run R programs and get results within Mediawiki (the software behind Wikipedia). With the increasing popularity of Machine Learning, R will also increase in popularity over the next few years.  


8. Kotlin

Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language with type interference that effortlessly combines object-orientated and functional programming features. It is an easy-to-learn, open-source language used for Android App Development. It can also be used for Web Development, Desktop Development and Server-Side Development.

Since Kotlin addresses the major issues associated with Java, several apps have been rewritten in Kotlin. Its popularity can be attributed to the rising number of Android users and as a result, Android-based devices.

This programming language is definitely a must-learn for programmers and Android App Developers in 2020.


9. Golang

Golang is a programming language built by Google. It is a relatively new system-level programming language that has a focused vocabulary and simple scoping rules. It blends the best aspects of functional programming and object-orientated styles.

Go provides excellent support for multithreading and therefore it is being used by a lot of companies that rely heavily on distributed systems. It is the fastest growing language on Github and may eventually replace languages such as Java and C++.


10. Swift

Swift is a general-purpose compiled programming language developed by Apple that offers a simple and cohesive syntax. It helps developers create iOS apps within a short period of time and is fast, secure and easy to learn.

Since Swift is promoted by Apple, its popularity is increasing. In a study of the top 110 apps on the app store, 42% of apps were already using Swift. The creation of apps doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so learning this programming language is a wise choice for 2020. 


If you are experienced using any of these programming languages and are currently looking for your next role in Ireland, Reperio can help! Our Recruitment Consultants specialise in niche areas of the IT market in Ireland. Give them a call today on +353 1 571 3000 or check out our jobs page!

Written by Michelle Young 


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